Review: Project X
It’s full to the brim with boobs, booze and Jewish teenagers: despite scathing reviews. Will Murphy actually really enjoyed it.
Project X tells the story of three young men who are just reaching adulthood, eager to make up for lost time. They throw the most audacious and ridiculous party their town has ever seen, which, much to their surprise, triggers their ascensions to kings of North Pasadena High School. Costa is the predictable, cocksure Jewish lad, trying to introduce his friends, birthday boy Thomas and generic fatty JB into a world of promiscuity and unadulterated fun. The premise is so predictable as to be tedious, and the jokes themselves don’t fall too far from the tree of expectation either. Of course, critics will call it crass, but this is a film that wears its lewdness on its sleeve.
When I was about eleven or twelve, my brother had a paintballing birthday party. The night before we and some of his mates ate Domino’s and stayed up late and watched Road Trip and American Pie 2 after our parents had gone to bed. All the themes in those sorts of films are present in Project X, and in no short measure. It’s full to the brim with boobs, booze and Jewish teenagers (the vehicle for a sizeable chunk of the humour in these teen comedies), and despite scathing reviews that had almost convinced me otherwise, I actually really enjoyed it. I think it's probably because its the sort of film that my generation grew up on, which means it splats a wholly welcome dollop of nostalgia on to your plate, like an over eager dinner lady.
Once again, its one of those hand-held camera type jobbies, and even though it didn’t feature any giant aliens or scary witches, it didn’t bring anything new to the table. I’m getting a bit sick of them now. My best guess is that the producers of this film recognized the fact that the plot and its contents are essentially lacking in originality, so they decided to boost its appeal by filming it according to the flavour of the month. This format doesn’t suit the film, and a lot of the time, considerable dramatic license is taken to allow it to work. The man behind the camera is conveniently present at every significant moment, despite spending a great deal of the party hiding in wardrobes and peering through doors.
If we’re talking subjectively, this is a really enjoyable film that will make you laugh, and will entertain you. If, on the other hand, we take an objective point of view, the plot and the style of the film present themselves with a lot of problems that it never really solves. then again, I highly doubt that any of Project X’s target audience are concerned with casting a critical eye on this film; they just want to be entertained. And I reckon most of them will be. And I also reckon that Project X is pretty happy with that.